Lots of news this week related to Rupert Murdoch’s media giant, News Corp. This part, though, isn’t an atrocity:
Robert Thomson, former editor of The Times and currently managing editor of the Wall Street Journal, is to become chief executive of a new publishing arm of Rupert Murdoch’s News Corp. …
The announcement is part of a major restructuring of News Corp, which is being split into two businesses: a dominant TV and film arm, called Fox Group, and a newspaper and book publishing division, which will retain the News Corporation moniker. It is this company which Thomson will head.
According to The Guardian, the main assets of News Corporation will be News International’s UK titles The Times, The Sun and The Sunday Times, the WSJ, the New York Post, the Australian and other News Ltd papers and the HarperCollins book publishing business.
And despite the hand-wringing by Russia Television in the following video clip, what appears to be the foundation for an atrocity doesn’t quite meet the mark:
The argument is that a company can’t control a newspaper and a television station in the same market (which, by the way, Rupert already does with the WSJ, the New York Post and the Fox station WNYW in New York).
But under the restructuring of News Corp., the publishing arm is being separated from the TV and film arm. FCC approval to buy the Chicago Tribune and the Los Angeles Times, both now struggling, is irrelevant. The publishing company, called News Corp., doesn’t have television stations. The TV and film arm, called Fox Group, doesn’t have newspapers. With the creation of two corporate entities that trade separate stock (which Wall Street has demanded for years), it doesn’t matter if Murdoch serves as chairman of both companies.
It sucks, but it’s all legal.
The thought of Rupert owning three major newspapers in three major media markets has to give one pause. Especially after this was reported by Bob Woodward in the Washington Post:
Roger Ailes, the longtime Republican media guru, founder of Fox News and its current chairman, had some advice last year for then-Gen. David H. Petraeus.
So in spring 2011, Ailes asked a Fox News analyst headed to Afghanistan to pass on his thoughts to Petraeus, who was then the commander of U.S. and coalition forces there. Petraeus, Ailes advised, should turn down an expected offer from President Obama to become CIA director and accept nothing less than the chairmanship of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, the top military post. If Obama did not offer the Joint Chiefs post, Petraeus should resign from the military and run for president, Ailes suggested.
The Fox News chairman’s message was delivered to Petraeus by Kathleen T. McFarland, a Fox News national security analyst and former national security and Pentagon aide in three Republican administrations. …
McFarland also said that Ailes — who had a decades-long career as a Republican political consultant, advising Richard M. Nixon, Ronald Reagan and George H.W. Bush — might resign as head of Fox to run a Petraeus presidential campaign. At one point, McFarland and Petraeus spoke about the possibility that Rupert Murdoch, the head of News Corp., which owns Fox News, would “bankroll” the campaign.
And therein lies the atrocity. Rupert is using his media empire to put himself in a position to decide who the president of the United States is going to be. No big secret there. He’s already done it in the U.K. It’s common knowledge that anyone hoping to be the British prime minister has to seek an audience with, and get the blessing of, Rupert. That’s how Margaret Thatcher became PM. That’s why Tony Blair won. And that’s why David Cameron is in office now.
So let’s say Petraeus didn’t get caught in a sex scandal and that Murdoch did have control of the Los Angeles and Chicago papers: You’d have glowing reports about Petraeus being the man to run the country from Fox News and the local Fox affiliates across the country. Favorable editorials and major print coverage for Petraeus by the Wall Street Journal, the Chicago Tribune and the Los Angeles Times. The country is blanketed.
And if all had gone Fox’s/News Corp.’s way?
Rupert Murdoch would be the puppet master of the president of the United States. Making Rupert the most powerful man in the world.
Not the kind of thing you want to read while eating your oatmeal in the morning, right?
Oh, and while I’m at it, this is the front page of Rupert Murdoch’s New York Post today:
Yes. Murdoch’s paper ran this. And yes, the man in the photo was killed by the train.
So maybe I shouldn’t have posted this photo with this item? But this posting is about News Corp. atrocities. You do need to see them to understand what this media company, and its chairman, stand for.